2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Mystery of Childhood Series: I, My Child and My New Year Resolution: Example as a Lasting Legacy

This is my last piece for the year 2012 and I have taken time to advertise. I hope it to enjoy more prominence than all the pieces I have written this year. The logic is simple and I found it in the Holy Writ, ‘better is the end of a thing than the beginning.’ Hear another authority, ‘the glory of the latter shall be greater than the former.’ Young people ask me when I train them in creative writing, how do I write my best piece? I tell them your best piece is not solely a function of skill (how) but most importantly a function of time (when). My answer to them is very simple, ‘your best piece is the last piece you write before you stop writing or die.’ God through native reserves the best for the last. Therefore read this piece with care, caution and candour. I trust God it will instruct you.

This is part of my series called the Mystery of Childhood, which I began by divine inspiration last week. Today I take it further under this treatise: I, My Child and My New Year Resolution: Example as a Lasting Legacy. When I mentioned this topic to my dear and supportive wife, she queried, what about your resolution about your wife?  I assured her that surely spouse comes before the children in order of relationship and that marriage relationship is the foundation for making or unmaking children.

Please note, I am not a fan of New Year Resolutions. I wrote on my Blackberry status update early this morning, ‘life is too dynamic to wait for the rituals of New Year Resolution.’ The resolution to live well and lead others to is made and sustained daily by the mercies and grace of God. I have chosen this topic to call the attention of all to a critical issue, which we cannot afford to neglect for another second. I have chosen this day, because many of us are already in the mood to receive something new. Today, I do not only come cunningly, I also came as an opportunist.

Now, let us proceed to the discussion of the day. I think to get the best of my thoughts today, please forget the first part of the topic, that is, ‘I, My Child and My New Year Resolution.’ Please pay more if not all attention to the latter part, ‘Example as a Lasting Legacy.’ It is in this latter part that I have chosen to hide the secret of this piece.

I did not see example as a legacy before I began to find and fight my way out of the impact of an abused childhood. I found that I remember many things, which my parents said but I remember more, what they did. I realised that my life was a direct product of their example. I realised that the greatest liability they left behind was their poverty. It was their example. As matter of fact, their poverty was part of their example.

Observing, my life through the eye of my childhood and the battle of transformation to responsible adulthood, which I have fought in the last 15 years through the grace of God, I came to the resolutely irresistible conclusion that one example is worth more than one million words. I also concluded that there is no inheritance that can be left for a child better than examples. I see that example sets up the child for greatness or for disgrace. What people call ancestral or generational curses are rooted in attitude, which has been passed from generation to generation and it has become of stronghold of example. It will take a stronger example to undo a prevailing example. I realised that example has a life of its own and produces after its kind.

Now, as I study the intriguing philosophy and psychology of example, I found that it is one of the mysteries of childhood. God created children to learn by example. May I be a bit extreme and yet logical and say that children do not learn except by example. They are not also led except by example. It must first be demonstrated before it is taught. Thus the popular saying, ‘children do not do what you say, they do what you do.’ I love the way Aristotle put it, ‘Character may almost be the most effective means of persuasion.’ I believe this is how it works, our examples create a PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY, the PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY create a CONSCIOUSNESS OF POSSIBILITY among your observers and a CONSCIOUSNESS OF POSSIBILITY produces an ENVIRONMENT and the ENVIRONMENT incubates and hatch like behaviour.  The book that I read says, Christ was tempted in every way, yet He did not sin. Therefore He became a PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY for all desire to live a righteous life.

I see and hear a lot of debate on discipline and child development without definite attention on the meat of the matter: EXAMPLE. Discipline does not take place except by example. A disorganised custodian cannot teach the child to be organised. The true definition of discipline is to help a child to be conscious of his dignity of human person. A custodian, who does not respect his dignity of human person, will not teach the child dignity of human person. Any custodian, who perpetrates any form of abuse against the child loses his right and fails in his duty to discipline the child.

Which examples have the most lasting impression on the child? It is the examples of his immediate custodians, parents, guardians, teachers/instructors, friends, media, particularly New Media (internet). All these living and non-living entities lead the child by example. These entities are in two categories: the first is the parents and those approved by the parents. It is said that first impression lasts a lifetime. Maria Montessori has informed us that 80% of the personality of the child is formed between ages 2 and 6.

Every virtue and vices are taught by example. Godliness is taught by example, so it ungodliness. Love is taught by example so is hatred. Tolerance is taught by example to is intolerance. Kindness is taught by example, so is unkindness. Wisdom is taught by example so is foolishness. Peace is taught by example, so is chaos. Generosity is taught by example, so is tight-fistedness. Corruption is taught by example, so is honesty. Faithfulness is taught by example, so is infidelity. Loyalty is taught by example, so is disloyalty. Self-control is taught by example, so is indiscipline. Prudence is taught by example, so is wastefulness. Purposeful living is taught by example, so is spur-of-the-moment living. Promptness is taught by example, so is lateness. Strength is taught by example, so is weakness. Boldness is taught by examples, so is fear. Integrity is taught by example, so is crookedness of character. Excellence is taught by example, so is mediocre. Gentleness is taught by example, so is roughness. Inspiration is taught by example, so is discouragement. Graceful words are taught by example, so are harsh words. Calmness is taught by example, so is anxiety. Humility is taught by example, so is pride. Neatness is taught by example, so is messiness. Telling the truth is taught by example so is lying. Optimism is taught by example, so is pessimism. Sexual purity is taught by example, so is sexual impurity. Creativity is taught by example, so is lack of it.  Dignity of labour is taught by example, so is laziness. Orderliness is taught by example, so is disorderliness. Successful marriage is taught by example, so is an unsuccessful one. Principles of greatness are taught by examples, so are the principle of self-centred living. The list is endless. Abraham Lincoln says, ‘for a man to train up a child in the way he or she should go, he must walk that way himself and come back to take the child to go with him.’

In my audio book, ‘Stories, Senses and Stones: Abused Childhood, Transformed Adulthood,’ I shared extensively all the vices, I picked from my parents, observing their lives. My father died at the age of 82 when I was 39, he never sat down to instruct on any issue of life. Please note I am not exaggerating. Or to be on the safer side, maybe I should put it this way; I cannot remember my father instructing me on any issue of life. But I have been dealing with his examples daily since February 16, 1996, yet I am still work in progress.  I titled this example: ‘a test of dad’s mind power’in my audio book just mentioned above: ‘I was about 12 years old when Dad got a car loan from the National Bank and bought a two-door Volkswagen Beetle. Due to human frailty, which is common to all, dad lost the particulars of the vehicle. I followed him to the car dealer. I did not know the details of their discussion, but dad sat in the office of the dealer and wept profusely. The car dealer later got angry and retorted, ‘why is this man crying like this? Please come and remove this man out of this place o.’

I further shared in my audio book,dad, needed to have been strong. The issue was not as complex as to warrant him breaking down in public. In retrospect, I wondered why dad would weep for losing the documents of his car when all he needed to do was to swear to an affidavit of disclosure, get a police report and approach the car dealer and other authorities to reissue another set of documents. I began to think that if dad could weep for losing his car documents, only God knows what he would have done if he had lost the car.’ I concluded, ‘that experience and the impression it left stayed with me for many years… Parents must be strong in the time of trouble. We must learn to provide leadership and become the mainstay of our children. Our despondency and fear should be kept to ourselves until we overcome. After overcoming the situation, we may teach our children the principles and how we took the decision that brought the family out despite the parents’ sense of fear and despondency.

There is an example is use when I disseminate one of our programs, The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution to teachers and non-academic staff in private and public schools. I think I should share it here. I titled it, ‘The Unknown Teacher and the Bathroom Slippers:’ ‘It was career day in a primary school and children were asked to come to school modelling the profession they intend to pursue in the future. A child (few weeks to her 4th birthday), who wanted to become a teacher, had a running battle with her parents, when she packed a pair of bathroom slippers. The parents insisted that a pair of bathroom slippers is not in the dress code of a teacher. The child insisted it was. When the parents further probed, the child said, ‘our teacher in some cases wear a pair of bathroom slippers to the class room to teach.’

I think our space is far spent. Permit me to make some other compelling points about example, without which I would not have done justice to this topic.

The first is that custodianship of a child is the most credible example in leadership. We will not excel in it and make indelible impacts in the lives of our children, except we first lead ourselves successfully as custodians and provide our lives as examples for the children under our care to follow. To lead ourselves successfully, we must as matter of supreme necessity submit ourselves to God by embracing the universal principles, which He has put in place to govern this world.  The second point is that we must watch our company. Our company and the people we expose our children to will either reinforce our examples, where they share our philosophy of life or neutralise or replace our examples where they do not share our philosophy. The third point is that there are no minor or major examples. Our children follow all of our examples whether we try to cover it up or not. It is their God-given gift to see beyond our words and go for our example. It is called the power of observation, powered by natural intelligence. I tell custodians to be careful how they express their fears and disappointment before their children. Many parents scream hysterically in the presence of their children because they see roaches and rats. Before you know it their children follow their examples.  Another point is that to do one thing and instruct our children to do the contrary is to frustrate our children and incur their anger. It is an express initiation of our children to multiple personalities. Example is the greatest inspiration for our children to live meaningful lives. Many custodians only have positional influence on their children and not inspiration. Influence works with authority. Inspiration works by example, Inspiration is what makes our children follow us. Lastly, the depth of the love respect of our children for us is by the example we show. I once spoke to a teenager (watch out for my piece on this blog, titled, ‘Conversation with an Angry Teenager’), who is very angry with his father because of his bad examples, which he took time to enumerate to me. He said and I quote, ‘I love my father because God commands so, but I do not respect him for the kind of live he lives. I do not want to be, like my father in any way.’

The question is, are we ready for the unedited opinion of our children about us?

As we move into the New Year and for the rest of our lives, I want to urge us to be conscious of the truth that the most invaluable legacy we MUST leave for our children is our example. Thomas Morell, a man who lived by godly examples admonished, ‘the first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.’ The Holy Writ says, ‘A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children…’ I do not think the Holy Writ value physical inheritance above virtues as inheritance. Hear the Holy Writ: ‘A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favour is better than silver and gold.’

Thank you for visiting today and do have an INSPIRED New Year

I HAVE SEEN

In my over 4 decades of existence, I have seen many things by which I have been instructed:

I have seen FAITH without STANDARDS;

I have seen CONFESSION without COMMITMENT;

I have seen VANITY, branded as VIRTUE;

I have seen WEAKNESS promoted as STRENGTH;

I have seen PILLARS become GALLOWS;

I have seen SHEPHERD become WOLF;

I have seen the OFFENDED punished and the OFFENDER crowned;

I have seen DINNER GUEST, who forbids his HOST from partaking from the delicacies he had prepared;

I have seen the SATISFIED being begged with food and the HUNGRY left to die;

I have seen HATERS speaking the soothing words of LOVE to the UNWARY;

I have seen where every fact known to man implicated ONE and yet he is INNOCENT;

I have seen my BEST INTENTIONS mistaken

for ULTERIOR MOTIVE;

I have seen my BEST EFFORTS viewed as NO-EFFORTS;

I have seen my  MISTAKES celebrated as my EXPERTISE;

I have seen DEATH FACE TO FACE 10 times, yet I have LIVED;

I have seen that all that GLITTERS may not be GOLD and all that is GOLD may not GLITTER;

I have LOST SOME,

I have WON MANY;

I have learnt the WISDOM to ABOUND and ABASE;

Above all, I have seen the SUPER ABUNDANCE MERCIES and FAITHFUL GOODNESS of God;

My HEART is full of MATTERS,

These days even when my eyes are opened,

It is as if they are shut,

I’m often lost in reflections,

I now see beyond the surface,

Not easily excited,

Quick to HEAR, SLOW SPEAK, SLOW to WRATH, Yet I’m full of LIFE and OPTIMISM;

I have HOPEFUL EXPECTATION of GOOD in Christ JESUS ALWAYS.

Have an INSPIRED NEW YEAR.

Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s Day

NOTES

Pls Join my daily blog @ http://www.taiwoakinlami.com

I will be doing my last piece on Monday, December 31,2012. It is titled, ‘I, My Child and My New Year Resolution.’ Pls read and pass on. Stay INSPIRED.

The Mystery of Childhood Series

This is a series I intend to write as God gives me utterance. It may be once in a month. It may be once in 3 months. I do not know yet. I am pushing this out today as God laid it on my heart. I felt a burden to write it when I finished speaking to very receptive and attentive parents at the end of the year party of old boys of EKOBA 83, held at Chevron Guest House, Gbagada, Lagos.

Childhood is not as simple at the child it studies. It is crucial as it’s a decider of the future of a child, his family, his community and his nation. Childhood is a phenomenon that has arrested my attention in the last 15 years. I began to study it when I received deliverance from the impact of my abused childhood through the saving grace of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to who I am eternally grateful.

I began by studying the wretchedness of my abused childhood. I wanted to see its impact on my today’s adulthood. I must tell you it is seemingly indelible. I juxtaposed my negative experiences with that of those who had blissful childhood and the impact of same on their today’s adulthood also. I gleaned from the experiences of men like Billy Graham, who testified, testified of his childhood thus, ‘in all the strictness of my upbringing, there was no hint of child abuse.I read the story of Jack Welch, who eulogises his mother for building in him lasting confidence. I studied many others, which space will not permit me to review.

Having studied myself and others in the last 15 years, I have come to the irresistible and firm conclusion that if a child must be helped to maximise his life, childhood has mystery that must be carefully unravelled through keen study and observation by custodians. To unravel this mystery, we must learn from the child and also learn of the child. It is important to note that you cannot learn from a child, except you learn of him. What you have learnt of him will become the tool or compass to help you learn from him. Learning of him is objective. It means learning the general rules about him and his behaviour. Learning from him is both personal and subjective. It opens you up to the peculiarity of his individuality.  I have also concluded that any attempt to analyse manhood without linking it to foundational childhood will result in a woeful exercise in futility. I am yet to meet a man or woman, whose foundation of his or her life was not laid in childhood. From the president in Aso Rock to the bus conductor in Mushin, they are the kind of men they are today, heroes or villains by the kind of children they were yesterday. I guess the point I am trying to make is that the foundation of manhood is laid in childhood.

Another scary fact I found is that once childhood is damaged, it is irreparable by the men and institutions, which damaged it. It can only be redeemed by divine intervention. Ted Bundy had troubled childhood. His paternity was uncertain. There were speculations that it was his grandfather, who impregnated his mother. At age 17, he stumbled on phonographic materials. He grew up to become one of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever seen. It is important to note that Ted Bundy had his first degree in Psychology at University of Washington. It was said of him, ‘he became an honour student, well-regarded by his professors.’ His second degree was in law before he abandoned it. He was also a young and dynamic politician and social worker, who worked as a counsellor of suicide victims and was described by one of his colleagues as ‘kind, solicitous, and empathetic.’ It is instructive that his degree in psychology, his knowledge of the law, politics and social work did not help him to undo the impact of a complicated childhood. He became a ruthless law breaker. He was a serial killer, rapist, kidnapper and necrophile.

Childhood is delicate. On it is this inscription, ‘fragile, handle with care.’ This is an inscription carefully inscribed by God. A child is not born blank. He is born with natural intelligence to manage his affairs and enjoy life at his state. He is also born responsible. That is why I continue to quarrel with those who say children are leaders of tomorrow. Leadership simply means responsibility. He takes his first step at responsibility at birth. He cries out. Godly installed instinct tells him that the only way to assure the people in whose hand he is born that he is alive is to cry out.

At his early days, he calls attention to his needs by crying out. As matter of fact the Holy Writ recognised the cry of the child as his way of calling attention of the mother. A child has five basic needs. To prepare the child for a glorious adulthood these basic needs must not only be identified but must be carefully met. Custodians must ensure that these needs are consistently met in the life of the child. What are these needs?  1. Someone to believe- a role model; 2. Something to believe-values; 3. Somewhere to belong-first a family and community; 4. Something to become- affirmation of his human ingenuity;  and 5. The child needs his sense of freedom and responsibility affirmed.

It is the responsibility of the custodians to ensure that only one voice speaks to instruct the the child. This one voice may be in different people and institutions but they must have just one voice and one message. What I mean is that we must be people of godly values and virtues to raise glorious children. It not enough to be people of godly values and virtues, we must ensure that as husband and wife, we communicate this godly values and virtues to our children with one voice. We must only keep company with those who share same values and virtues with us. We must send our children to schools, which promote and are doggedly committed to same values and virtues that we establish for our children at home. We must only expose them to the print and electronic media, which are committed to our values and virtues.

To do otherwise is to raise confused children, who are not able to identify the values to abide by in their daily interaction with life. Mother and father live and preach certain values; the school (that mother and father laboured to pay for) teaches the child something else; the place of worship (where we send the child) comes strongly with another set of values. Here you have one child, one mind, and many voices. Since the ability of the child to screen information is limited and he tends to seek the approval of those who have influence on him, sadly he becomes all things to all men and institutions. He goes by the philosophy that when you in Rome, you behave like a Roman citizen, even if you are not a Roman and you do not believe in what Romans do. He joins the unacceptable school of thought that there is no absolute truth in this world and adaptation is only the first law of survival in any environment you find yourself, but it is also the law of acceptance. The child develops multiple personality.

As he grows older, he begins to witness within him clashes of interests. He suffers internal conflicts. As he suffers this, parents begin to make demands on the basis of the values and virtues they promote at home. The child finds it difficult to cope since there have been infiltration of others values, which are not in conformity with the ones being promoted at home. As far as the child is concerned the infiltration of values is tactically approved by the parents as they are the one, who connected him with the source of the infiltration, sometimes with a lot of passion and financial commitments. The parents do not understand, why their child, who has been brought up at the family front with godly values is finding it difficult to cope. At this point confusion sets in for the parents and in most cases; they do not seek the support of an expert, they resort to spiritual exercise life prayer and fasting. Please note that prayer and fasting are critical but like in every circumstance, they must be governed by knowledge.  In most cases their confusion leads to anger and they waste no time to vent their anger on their child, claiming they did not know where the child, particularly at the tween and teen ages got his manners of life from. The child in most cases responds with acute rebellious acts. The cycle continues until God helps both parents and child to see the loophole. At this point the proliferation of multiple and conflicting values have almost formed the personality of the child. Maria Montessori has told us that 80% of the personality of the child is formed between ages 2 and 6. The only thing the parents could do at this point is to sign up for a damage control program.

Please note that it is impossible to help the child to maximise his childhood except as the custodians shows him love. Love may mean many things to many people according to their state in life. To the child, love means first, attention and second, acceptance. I have dwelt on the foregoing in past treatises.

I think I will like to end this discussion; I have titled the Mystery of Childhood here. I am beginning to run out of passion in discussing it. Over the years, when I run out of passion, it is a sign that I am being instructed to stop before I begin to write out of point. These things are not by power, might or brilliance. It is by the Grace of He who magnanimously mandated me to champion the crude of child protection enlightenment. I urge you friends, Think the Child, Think Today, Think the Future.  Do have an INSPIRED Day

CHILD PROTECTION IN AFRICA …61 Human and Social Threats YOU must KNOW, PREVENT & AVOID IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD…Excerpt

This is an excerpt from my latest work set to hit the social market end of February 2013 as part of my Child Protection Audio Library comprising of 12 Audio Programs on Child protection both from Legal and Social perspectives. Today I share with you the 21st Human and Social Threats YOU must KNOW, PREVENT & AVOID IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. I await your comments.

21. Black Skin, White Masks Custodians: These ones are in the words of Franz Fanon best described as Black Skin, White Masks as they are either not in touch with their cultural heritage or have lost total touch with same. These ones are not aware of their cultural source, not to talk of helping their children to understand same.  They suffer from what has been tagged colonial mentality from generation to generation. Chancellor Williams shared as the opening remark of his book, Destruction of Black Civilization‘What became of the Black people of Sumer the traveller asked the old man, for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them? “Ah,” the old man sighed, “they lost their history, so they died.’  I dare ask, if a people, who forget their history die, how much more people, who never knew their history?

These ones have masked themselves in the culture of the western world, which once colonised us. They confuse civilisation with a total surrender of their cultural heritage to another culture, which has been hyped to be superior.  Franz Fanon’s book, ‘Black Skin, White Masks,’ is said to explain the mentality of these ones as follows ‘In this study, Fanon uses psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical theory to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that Black people experience in a White world. He speaks of the divided self-perception of the Black Subject who has lost his native cultural originality and embraced the culture of the mother country. As a result of the inferiority complex engendered in the mind of the Black Subject, he will try to appropriate and imitate the cultural code of the colonizer. The behaviour, Fanon argues, is even more evident in upwardly mobile and educated Black people who can afford to acquire status symbols’

To these ones are not interested in conforming to a status quo, which source and inspiration they do not understand or care to find out. They put more premium on status symbols than on finding the roots of their cultural identity.

It is evident in the values they promote and encourage their children to promote; it is palpable the way they dress and dress their children, above all is discernible from the language they speak and teach their children to speak. It is fine and even pleasing if their children speak and excel in the colonial masters language. It does not cause them any form of headache if their children cannot speak their own dialect. In fact they encourage him to speak more of the colonial masters’ language. In most cases they consider it a matter of irredeemable embarrassment if they or their children cannot speak with impeccable fluency the language of another man.

Dwelling more on the issue of language, these ones collaborate with their government and educational system to tie the destiny of their children to the sophistication of another man’s language instead of its use. Thus a child, who sits for 8 subjects in WAEC, passes 7 and fails English language cannot advance beyond secondary school education. Permit me to paraphrase the line of thought of Olakunle Soriyan on this matter thus:  ‘in what language did the child, who passes 7 papers in WAEC (except English Language as a subject) write the subjects he passed? If he had written the subjects he passed in English Language, it therefore means, he has mastered English Language as a tool of communication. If his examiners are determined to stop him from furthering his education because he did not pass English Language as a subject, it means they do not only want him to communicate in English Language, they want him to be sophisticated in English Language. It therefore does not make sense that aforeign language, inherited from former colonial master should be regarded as the determinant factor of progress in one’s own country.’

In my opinion, I think this is too much a burden for the capacity development of the African Child. Many children today have lost their destiny and future to their lack of sophistication in English Language. It is important to note that language has been identified as a tool of cultural and national emancipation. Frantz Fanon made this point many years ago when he profoundly submitted as follows: ‘I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization… Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French.’

With the way things are, I am persuaded that except steps are taken to correct the present aberration, most of our local dialects in Africa will go into sad extinction.

These ones do not understand the meaning and beauty of culture. Therefore they cannot teach their children. Their closest touch with culture is dressing, dancing and all. When they get their children to wear their native attire, they are not able to explain to the children, the values behind the dressing. When they get their children to dance to their native music, they are not able to explain to the child the values the music seeks to communicate. Even when the schools in which they have registered their children celebrate cultural day, they spend all the time on the costumes and dance that no time is spent to discuss the values, which the culture they try to promote seek to communicate.

These ones do not understand that culture is identified by values. It is the values, which a people hold very dear that is called their culture. A people’s culture or values are expressed by their dressing, music, religion and the rest of it. For example, when a Yoruba man wears Agbada, he has two messages for you. The first is the primary and obvious message that he is affluent and approves moderate display of same. The second message is hidden and can only understand his cultural philosophy on how to attain affluence. The Yoruba philosophy says, ‘ise lo gun ise,’ the philosophy promotes dignity of labour and the only noble and acceptable means of attain affluence. The truth is that how many of these ones are able to explain to their child, if he asks them why they wear agbada?

Their children grow up with no cultural and national pride. The children will expectedly not protect a culture; they have been convinced is a liability. This makes African rebirth almost a lost battle.  According to Chancellor Williams, civilisation began from Africa, but we are not able to protect, sustain and defend it because we forgot our history.

 

A Crucial Message From the Lord of My Life to Custodians on Christmas Day

It is Christmas and I did not plan to be here today. I planned to spend all of this day with family and close friends. Thus I wrote my Christmas message yesterday. As I woke up this morning and dedicate this day to God in prayer and the study of His word, I had this heavy impression in my heart to do this piece. What is funny about the impression is that it did not come with a message. As I get on my system this minute to do this piece, I must tell you that I do not know exactly what the message is. One thing that I know is that I know this impression is from God. It works with my faith to step out and set to write and the One, who placed the impression there, will take over from there. Strong in my mind is the scripture, ‘I am the Lord, thy God, who brought you out of Egypt: open your mouth wide and I will it.’

I am here with you today in faith, believing that the message, which the impression I got intended will pour forth like a fountain.  After few sighs, I think the eye of my heart is picking a ray of light from the realm of the spirit. Oh, it appears I lost it. I could not pin it down. I am back to sighing and staring at my spirit and my system. I greatly hope and believe that I will soon shout Eureka…I will soon rejoice and say I found it!

Yes I found it! Eureka! I found it! It is a familiar message after all. My mandate this morning is draw parallels between the birth of Jesus and the birth of your child. The birth of Jesus was for a purpose. He came to change the history of humanity. He came to restore us back to God and grant us peace in this word and eternity. The foundational thing is that Christ came to change the world. As He came to change the world, he set an order for every other child that is born after Him. He redeemed all men that all men will redeem their world.

Believe me, every child is born to change the world and give all the glory to God. Your child is not ordinary. He came to change the world. Yes your child came to change the world for good. He came to lead events that will change the history of our world for ever. Jesus came to make that an exceeding possibility.

The essence of this message is to drum it home that whether the child fulfils this glorious destiny, which Jesus brought or not is dependent on you, the parents. Permit me to put it this way: children are like arrows in the hands of their custodians. How far, fast, sharp and perfect they hit their targets in life is dependent on the skills of the custodians. The arrow has no say in the matter. Even where the custodians have the skills, they must be available to deploy it. Jesus was an arrow in the hands of His heavenly Father. If we miss this point as parents, we do eternal damage to the spirit and soul of the child, which is irreparable except by divine intervention.

I think we must pray today to God to cause our thoughts to be agreeable to His will concerning our children, that we may give them a hope and a future in accordance to the eternal will of God. I am persuaded when we pray for our children; very soon our testimony shall be ‘here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.’ I am confident of this because the Lord has promised, ‘all your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.’

On the final note, as parents and custodians we must not allow our personal childhood experiences to determine the destiny of our children. We must reach unto God to heal us of any negative impact of our upbringing. I think this is a possibility. It is our responsibility as custodians to make a conscious commitment to break the hold of wrong upbringing and give our children a future and a hope.  I have come to understand that a new generation does not answer to time and position…It answers to a decision to break an unproductive ancestral habit or stronghold.

I decided 15 years by the grace given to me by my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to begin a new generation of the Akinlami family with my own nuclear family, the Taiwo Akinlami Family. My mission is to hold on to God’s gift of liberty in Christ Jesus and lead a positive value-change. God has been faithful in helping me to chart a new course, which is a sharp departure from that of my forefathers.

Protection Right: How to Handle a Bully (3)

It has been a very busy week and weekend for me. I have moved from one place to the other preaching the gospel of children’s rights and responsibilities. One of these days, I hope to see you face to face as I go about with this message, maybe I will be in your school.

Let me quickly share with you the third reason why I believe children bully. I think children bully in retaliation or self defence. This is very common. Some children believe that when they are bully by another friend, it is a sign of weakness on their part and that they will lose face if they do not fight back. A lot of school fights begin from this point. A lot of times some children want to take side with their friends or seek revenge for their sibling.

When I was in class 2 in secondary school, I found myself in this situation. I classmate was fond of bullying me. One day, I was tired of being bullied by him. Instead of reporting the matter to our teacher, I decided to defend myself. I boxed him right on his nose. He began to bleed seriously. We were both taken to the principal’s office. At the principal’s office, I became the guilty party. Why? My class mate who was the first to bully me was the one bleeding. The principal did not listen to me. The bleeding classmate was innocent and I was guilty. My name was written in the school’s black book.

You see dear children; the lesson here is that you cannot afford to take the law into your hands, when you are bullied. You must not fight back. You must report to your teacher. Do you understand me? I am sure you did. It is well with you. Have a great week as you join me next week when I will discuss with you how to stop a bully.

I am Taiwo Akinlami and I lead the YOUTH VALUE REVOLUTION

NOTE THIS:

I’m D-SMARTTEESSTT™

Young People’s Guide to a Value-Based Revolution for Personal, Family and Societal Change and Success

Program

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Between 2009 and today the life-transforming and revolutionary principles of I’m D-SMARTTEESSTT™ have taught close to 15,000 teenagers and youths and 5,000 teenage and youth trainer on the platforms of schools, faith-based groups, Non-Governmental Organisations, Government Agencies and related bodies.

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